The Soo Greyhounds are in the market for a new general manager now that Kyle Dubas has left for a job with the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs. In his new role, Dubas, will serve as the assistant general manager and right-hand man to GM Dave Nonis.
The 28-year-old had been with the Greyhounds for since 2011 and had done a respectable job of improving the franchise's fate. In the years Dubas was in the Soo running the show, the team had an overall record of 109-76-7-12 with 14 players drafted to the NHL - including star defenceman Darnell Nurse, a first-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers.
"This announcement today is one that brings very mixed emotions for me," said Dubas, in a release. "Certainly, I am excited by the massive opportunity that the Toronto Maple Leafs have afforded me. However, with that comes leaving a team and group of people that have an impact on me that is special that it is truly difficult to put into words."
Considered by many to be a progressive thinker - particularly in comparison the OHL's staid group of GMs - he was one of the first people in OHL management to embrace social media. He's also a big proponent of hockey analytics, which should make the Leaf Nation's math crowd very happy.
He was one of the youngest general managers in OHL history, but he had already gained experience as a player agent by the time he was 20. At the time of his hiring, Dubas told Yahoo Sports, he was used to being underestimated because of his age and used that to his advantage.
"When people underestimate you, they let their guard down," said Dubas. "This is a very proud city and a very proud organization and anybody who underestimates (the Greyhounds) will be making a very regrettable decision."
He had to work hard to earn the trust of parents, players and his fellow general managers given his age.
"I understand why people are critical," said Dubas. "They would have been more comfortable with someone who had been in the league for years and when you get outside people's comfort zones they get nervous and they get critical. It's up to me to show them that the belief the organization has put into me… was warranted."
The move to bring in Dubas means he replaces Claude Loiselle, who is leaving the team along with vice-president of hockey operations Dave Poulin.
“Kyle is a young executive that has made a strong name for himself in hockey with a progressive style, work ethic and maturation beyond his years,” said Leafs president Brendan Shanahan in a press release. “He has a fresh approach that we feel will benefit our club for years to come.”
The Leafs are planning a 1 p.m. press conference in Toronto to introduce Dubas to the media.